Born a slave in Maryland around 1818, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey never knew the actual date of his birth. It was widely believed that his father was also his owner. The institution of slavery did not permit the enslaved to know about their past, but the man who later became known as Frederick Douglass chose February 14th to recognize his birthday because his undying love and quest for freedom proved that no matter the odds, unlimited possiblities await us in the future.
A self taught orator, writer, and pioneer of abolition, Douglass escaped slavery at the age of 20 disguised as a sailor. He delivered his first speech to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society at age 23, where he eloquently described the nightmare of being a slave. He was also the founder of six abolitionist newspapers, one of which was The North Star, whose motto was, ‘Right is of no sex – Truth is of no Color – God is the Father of us all, and we’re all brethren.’ Being a firm believer in equality for all people, Douglass famously quoted, “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”
Other “Black Facts” on this date:
1867- Morehouse College was organized by WIlliam Jefferson White in Augusta, Georgia. With the help of Rev. Richard C. Coulter and Rev. Edmund Turney, White founded Morehouse, which was originally located inside of Sprinfield Baptist Church, the oldest independent Black church in America.
1926- photographer Moneta Sleet, Jr. was born in Owensboro, Kentucky. Sleet was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for the timeless photo taken of Mrs. Coretta Scott King and daughter Bernice on her lap at Dr. King’s funeral.
1936- National Negro Congress was organized in Chicago. The meeting was attended by 817 delegates from over 500 organizations. A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was elected president of the organization.
1946- tap dancer, choreographer, comic, actor, and director Gregory Hines was born in NYC. He began his career dancing at the Apollo and learned his moves from greats such at the Nicholas Brothers and Sandman Sims.
1965- Malcolm X’s house is bombed less than a week before he was assassinated. This was once believed to have been orchestrated solely by Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, but not long before this, Malcolm began to suspect that their was a plot by the U.S. government to kill him.
-ShaBe Allah (@KingPenStatus)